“…every one who boasts that he, through divine illumination, understands the obscurities of Scripture, though not instructed in any rules of interpretation, at the same time believes, and rightly believes, that this power is not his own, in the sense of originating with himself, but is the gift of God. For so he seeks God's glory, not his own. But reading and understanding, as he does, without the aid of any human interpreter, why does he himself undertake to interpret for others? Why does he not rather send them direct to God, that they too may learn by the inward teaching of the Spirit without the help of man?” Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, from Preface paragraph 8.
fact that one should ever have to deal with such an objection is absurd
(not to mention Augustine’s own philosophy is absurd, being as it is, a form of
irrational mysticism). The idea of "the power which is not our own” (and
yet really is our own) is a way of creating authority for one’s view; a
way of establishing a special case for one’s “God-given
interpretation of reality" (above all non God-given interpretations of
reality). Behold the context of true blasphemy!
does produce one important observation: a hermeneutics of mysticism and
intuition falls flat in that it would mean the justification of all
mysticism and all intuition. Hence, “…why does he undertake to interpret
for others? Why does he not rather send them direct to God?” Answer:
because it would deprive him, the theologian, of his [presumed] exclusive
authority. The final clause reads: “only my experience and interpretation
of God (and his revelation) can be true!”
The act of theological
interpretation is not a matter of truth (not a desire for truth!), but a
matter of propositional power (a desire to rid one’s self of one’s
positional insignificance), and in most cases, this comes in the form of
puritanical, archaic moralism. [We use the word "weak," following
Nietzsche, to reference those who seek power by means of theological
Down with those who blaspheme against the utility of reason in order to declare the supremacy of their mysticism!